The hardest working photographer in the game – at least you don’t want to see a harder worker than Rami. A man needs to sleep sometimes, right?
You’ve been working with Antti for such a long time. It’s been a while. How it’s been all those years?
True. We’ve been shooting together since 2005 I think, so yes, it’s been a while. And lots have happened on the way. It’s been quite a journey. When we started shooting we were obviously a lot younger and rookies in a way – rookies to life in general. Now we’re all grown up already, hahahha. I’ve got two kids and he’s got a big house with a lovely lady in there too. He used to ride pipe and park, and was doing all those competitions at the time. Now it’s all about the pow – which I like. So we’ve pretty much done a good share of the circus. Of course there is still tons of things to be done. But looking back now I feel we’ve had a really productive time. There was a time that I was getting to be a little over it, maybe in general, but that’s all natural. At some point I moved to New York for a year for other reasons. After that the old childish enthusiasm is back again.
You’ve seen all the phases he had: from growing into a pipe master and now becoming a backcountry machine. What are the things that make it all possible for him?
I think there is one reason for his success: The love for riding. I mean all of us love the good days of riding. But he’s dedication is on the other level.
You also know very well the rest of the crew, too. What makes it so special? I know you think also there’s something on it…
I’ve been super happy to have the opportunity to work with my close friends. And it comes even better when there is always some new great guy on the crew. Like Nicholas Wolken hooked up with us in Tamok, or Sylvain Bourbousson in New Zealand. It’s pretty special to have the crew you know and they know you. There is a trust there that has been crown over the years, and then to get to know some new people on the side as well. The good times shared is what makes it at the end of the day.
For this project, where were you filming with the crew?
We shot in Revelstoke in December, in Tamok in the spring and in New Zealand this August. Revelstoke was a fun early season powder trip. Had some really good and looong hikes there. But Tamok and New Zealand were one of the best ever. Such good trips. So much fun exploring new terrain. And I was stoked with the images we got.
Yeah, they were out of this world! But it took a while to get those images – I mean, something like over five years or so…
I’ve been going to Tamok since 2006 or 2007. One year we didn’t see the sun at all, the other year sun was out but snow was shitty. Every time there was something. Which is not a new scenario, but what made it worse was to see a little of the whole potential that the place have. It always gave us a little more than the previous year but still left us just hungry for more. This year was different. The first two days rained, and rained hard. The outside of our caravan was flooding. I almost packed up and left home cause my wife was getting close to giving birth to our son. But I thought to stay for a little while to see where it was going. The third day we got the sun and all that new snow on top. For the next week we pretty much enjoyed the first decents with great snow, day after day. I was smiling the whole 16 hours driving back home. Some days after I was plessed with my son.
Wow, that came close. Son after sun. You’re a busy man these days. What makes you to get up in the morning and hit the slopes. I’m sure there would be plenty of others who want to have a bite of you…
The feeling of being up on top of the mountain is something else. There are a lot of other great things in life, but that is one of the feelings that doesn’t go out of fashion. It’s hard to describe but would recommend for everybody. Those quite moments with the nature become a good balance for life. I’m waiting for my kids to grow a bit bigger and hope they will get stoked about riding so I can take them with me one day.
I suppose so. You’re like the coolest dad on Earth, they’re waiting to get to shred with you! I know that your nickname is Reinhart and there’s trick called Reinhart, too. What’s the story behind that weirdness?
No idea where the nickname came. Can’t remember. But Johan (Tuomas Laitinen) or Toni Jussila can claim it. I think they’re the ones who came up with it. And this is back in the late 90’s. I think I was among the first ones in our crew to start doing switch bs tricks, specially 180’s. I loved the trick, with an indy (switch indy, to be correct). I was doing those things from every jump or drop – that was kind of my comfort trick. And the dudes started calling it the reinhart. Good times. Iäve had so much fun thinking of the old days riding with those guys, and Kimmo Tuhola, Olli and Vesa Nissinen, Jere Paavilainen, and others.
As you’re one of the best-known snowboarding photographers alive, what tips do you have to give for those not that well-known?
Keep staying alive and enjoy every bit of it.
There we have it. You’re having your own exhibition in a gallery right now in Helsinki. Tell us everything about it! Well not everything, I still want to see it.
I’ve been shooting snowboarding for more than a decade now. Somewhere on the way I realized that I’m at least equally interested on the personalities and the back story as I’m interested in the action itself. So I started to shoot more and more of the snapshots of the whole touring thing. During the last three years I’ve had three exhibitions on the theme. It’s been evolving and changing quite a bit from the first exhibition and looks a lot different now. Not only because there are new images after every season, but also because I’ve wanted to keep it alive. I like the idea that the body of work changes from one exhibition to the next one. I think the one in Laboratory art space right now is the best one. It will be up there until the 25th of November.
For the last, what are the things you relate to in this project?
Riding pow with friends.
Home: Tampere, Finland
Board and setup: Flow. I’ve been on a photo contract with them since 2007 or something.
Dream crew to ride and shoot with: Antti Autti, Miikka Hast, Joel Lahti and Scotty Lago. Plus Laama hanging out from the heli filming.
Best places to ride: Tamok, AK, New Zealand,
Music: Graveyard, Highway Burns
Other hobbies: My boat
Last words: Respect
words: Tuukka Tams
photos: Rami Hanafi and Teemu Lahtinen